Just in case anyone wonders why I’ve stopped posting regularly – perhaps the last time I did so was two weeks ago -, it is because I am feeling absolutely horrible at the moment. My great aunt just passed away, my grandpa is on his deathbed and one entire side of the family is basically shunning my mum, dad and me. I really don’t feel like writing at the moment, or studying, so I definitely don’t feel like writing ABOUT any of those things. To make it worse, I’m extremely prone to depression. In fact, I suffered from it for at least three years straight. All I hope is that it’s not going to come back. Now I’m slightly addicted to calming tea… At least that isn’t bad for you.
Yes, I am sad to admit that this post is one of those posts that are basically blatant self-advertising. However, I’m just a little excited to let you know about this. No, I am not getting a book published. I haven’t even tried yet. The Horrirific is the title of my new blog, which deals with reviews for horror movies. I love watching horror movies, I love writing, so I thought, why not combine the two? There are about four reviews on there at the moment, but please check it out. After all, you may be interested in finding out about some of the strange things I watch.
I am sorry, but I’ll admit beforehand that this is not really a guide as to how to review anything. I am not a reviewer myself, so it would be strange for me to try to do so. Instead, I would like to note something about reviews, which may sound a little harsh, but I don’t read them. Ever.
To be honest, I haven’t read many books, at least not adult literature. I am a children’s writer. I know this is terrible, as every writer should probably start at the highest level and dial back from there, but I can’t. I generally don’t like it. Therefore, I’ve almost never heard of the books that are touched upon in reviews, no matter how popular they are. In fact, doing so would probably negatively affect my view of a book I haven’t even given a try yet. If the reviewer is negative, I will be intrigued, but there is no way I am going to read something that is completely bashed by multiple people.
Of course, there are some great reviewers out there, who know how to be critic without being overly harsh. They are witty and interesting, and even more important, they know their audience. Most people aren’t inclined to read about a book they’ve never heard about. I like reviews about Harry Potter – which I loved – or about Twilight – which I hated – because I already have an opinion about them. Popular book reviews do draw my attention, mainly because everyone has a different opinion about the same book. In the case of not-so-wellknown works, chances are that opinions are not going to vary much. I like depth. If it isn’t in there, then reading the review isn’t worth it to me.
Blogs about reviewing aren’t necessarily bad. However, I am getting the feeling that most of those start out as writers’ blogs, until their creators gradually start to slip up as they find out there isn’t that much to write about. That isn’t true. Writing is everywhere! Of course, writers and other people’s books are connected, as those books are what we strive to create – or absolutely not to create.
In the end, I am a liar and do think I have some tips: don’t overdo it, be creative, be relatable. The last one may sound like horrible advice, as the creative mind isn’t always relatable, but at least pick a subject that is relatable. Something that people can think about on their own. Maybe they will pick up that book that you criticized, just because some just criticism can stimulate them to come up with ideas of their own. Get your readers to read. Some people, like me, don’t do it enough.
Maybe I am overly perfectionist when it comes down to planning absolutely anything. For those who were wondering how I could write or post this while I am in Belgium without access the Internet; I can’t. In reality, I wrote this post a week before and requested WordPress to upload it for me at a certain date. I usually want everything to be perfect. My blog posts should be spread out evenly, I should write a story chapter a day, every task should be done before dinner… The list goes on and on. It might seem nice to be a planner, as you always know what you are supposed to do. However, there are many drawbacks to planning almost obssesively.
The first drawback to my excessive planning is that, once it does not go according to plan, I lose all will to continue as I regard it as failing. This is hard, especially during the holidays and vacations. I had been planning to finish the third book in my series when I went to Austria. The laptop failed and did not save the one chapter I had written… and I immediately could not do it anymore. I haven’t written a thing ever since. And just when I felt the desire to start again, the date on which I’d have to leave again was approaching. It all felt pointless. If I don’t manage to finish within the time range I’ve given myself, I feel like giving up.
The second drawback is that this amount of planning stresses me out more than it should. Planning is supposed to allow you to rest when you deserve to, right? I personally cannot feel rested when I know there is so much left to be done. At the moment, I am stuck with a terrible headache, just because I am stressing out. I actually had to leave my job early, just because this spot at the top of my skull was throbbing. As far as I know, that is a bad sign. It is not like I do that much in my free time, but just the feeling of never being actually free is enough to cause this.
Thirdly, certain things probably should not be forced, like writing. While I said before that it is a perfectly fine way of writing to just sit down and start, it does not always work. As it turned out for me, I cannot do that without stressing over it. What am I supposed to write today? What if I don’t like it and it is just pointless? What if I never finish it? I usually deal with deadlines fine, but not in this case. You cannot always force the creativity.
Sometimes the planner just needs a rest. No planning, no doing anything. Of course, that isn’t always possible. However, we should try not to overdo it. Not everything has to happen right the day we decide it has to. Not everything is as important. Pick your battles or you’ll end up sitting on the couch, almost unable to do a thing.
Supposedly there are several rules for keeping a writers’ blog in order to keep it valuable to both other aspiring writers and publishers. Now, I definitely am not aiming at publishers when writing this – the other writers, and possibly readers, are the ones I would like to reach. However, I am getting the feeling that I break those rules too often.
First of all, every blogger needs to be cautious of their amount of posts. To be honest, if I notice people are posting their musings about ten times a day, it is doubtful that I am actually going to take a look at them. I am sorry for that, but such an amount becomes bothersome to keep up with. I try to make sure I don’t do that – in fact, I am pretty sure I don’t do that, as I am sadly in the opposing category of bloggers: those who post way too less and way too irregularly. In order to keep a steady base of readers, one must make sure to actually post to their blogs. While I try to make sure I do that, sometimes my enthusiasm just falters. Suddenly, I lose all inspiration and don’t even want to write a thing anymore. As soon as I stop for a few days, those few days quickly turn into weeks. This is something I should try to avoid, just by keeping up the stream of ideas.
Secondly, the main goal of a writer’s blog should be to either help other writers or to get help for themselves. However, my posts definitely don’t consist of any helpful tips. Yes, there may be some hidden in my posts, but they generally are not the main point. I doubt anyone actually sees them in there. Strangely enough, I am getting the feeling that my posts that aren’t focussing on writing tips are the most well-read. Maybe people just enjoy reading about my musings more, or it may be because I am not an expert, but it still strikes me as odd. I am defying the entire point of the writers’ blog by posting all of this nonsense, yet it appears that people enjoy that nonsense. At least, it is what I seem to get the most responses to. This is still a writer’s blog; I am going to keep it that way, but I am not afraid anymore of breaking the rules.
In the end, I am not entirely sure what the benefit of keeping a blog as a writer is. Nobody is going to find me this way. I am not going to posts my manuscripts on here, as that would cause publishers to never want anything to do with me. I do it, though, because it is fun to me. Keeping this blog is not so much a job as a nice activity to keep me writing. That is all that counts.
As a writer, this may be one of the strangest statements I have ever made. “Please don’t look at my story, I’m ashamed of it.” No writer should be ashamed of their thoughts and ideas, yet I am sure most of us have to deal with this often. At the moment, I have to share a study with my roommate. He is just one person, and his desk is at the opposite of the room. However, whenever he is sitting there, whether it is playing games or talking to people on Skype, I get this horrible feeling I am being watched. I am afraid that he will turn around and look at my screen while I am writing and see what my story is about. I can’t write unless he’s gone.
It is terrible, actually. Why can’t I write when there is someone in the same room? He isn’t even looking at my screen, yet I always feel he is going to judge me for it. It may be because I like children’s stories and he prefers epic fantasy, but I don’t think he would mock me. Sure, we often joke around about my strange imagination, but he is never mean about it. I should want people to read my stories, right? Then why am I so afraid of it?
It is because I am afraid of being judged. It is because I aspire to become a writer in the English language, although it is not my native tongue. I am afraid that everyone will pick up on it and mock me. It is actually petrifying – but it shouldn’t be. As writers, we will always face criticism. We will always face mockery. We shouldn’t let it stop us, though. My dream isn’t gone. My will is returning. Even better, I finished the second manuscript in my nine-part series about three days ago. Maybe this will go away one day. Maybe I will be able to let those I know read my work. Yes, publishers are not that terrifying to me. What’s worse is the judgment of those we love and care about. But if they are worth it, they won’t judge.
Now that I’m lacking an Internet connection for yet another day (I am writing this from another location), I finally realise how important it is to have access to the Internet when trying to write. I need it.
First of all, I like to use Google Docs in order to keep my documents safe. However, I found out that there is only one computer I like to write on. It is a mental thing; while I have access to my files at the moment, I cannot force myself to write, even though I probably should. There is nothing else to do at the moment. From that point of view, having no connection should be good. However, it is not. I will have to go back to my house at some point and write there. For that, I actually need a working connection. How else am I supposed do to my research?
In all honesty, there is not much research for me to do. Still, I like looking up names and myths from all over the world to give me some inspiration. The Internet is a blessing for the aspiring writer. It can provide us with everything we need to come up with that one spectacular idea. On the other hand, it also can be a massive curse, as it brings forth procrastination and distraction. At the moment, the pros outweigh the cons.
I am sorry for the rambling, but I have to use the connection I have at the moment to give this update on my life. Again, the Internet is a curse, as I could have used this time to write… And yet, I cannot do without it.
I’ll be spreading my wings tomorrow. I’ll be flying out. In other words, I am going to move tomorrow, not only for the first time in my life but I’ll also be without my parents for the first time. I am not much of a poet; in fact, it felt wrong to write this passage as I generally do not enjoy how pretentious poetry can come across. The only time I allow myself to do so is when writing my character, the ten-year-old smartass who likes to impress people by coming up with synonyms.
Maybe there is not much of a point to this post, except for me rambling. What I really wanted to do was to share my favourite song, as for a change, poetry seems to describe what I am feeling right now: Eddie Vedder’s Society. I do not have much – not because I can’t, but because I do not need anything. There are not much things in my life I enjoy that much, and the ones I do enjoy, I already own. The only thing I want at the moment is a quiet space for me to write, where no one is going to disrupt me – although that never happens anyway. When I am writing, I feel safe. For those who hadn’t picked up on it by now, I am slightly depressed. At the moment, I just feel like running… and listening to some music.
The word “running” in the last sentence was actually a mistake, as I meant to say “writing”. However, I guess this describes what I’m really feeling. I’m trying to get away from society for a bit. I’m getting anxious. I’ve never done this before!
The more useful posts will be back in a week. There’s no Internet connection yet in my new home.
As a quite new blogger, I was pretty surprised when I found out I had been nominated for the Liebster Award by fadingpoetic. Thank you so much for this! In all honesty, I had never heard of this before… I’m feeling slightly stupid now, but hey, I’m still happy!
Part of this award is having to answer eleven questions as given by the nominator, state eleven facts about yourself and nominate eleven other bloggers… I’m afraid I do not know that much, but I’ll give it a try.
Let’s start out with the questions. I love them!
I. If you could merge any two animals together and have it as a pet, what would they be?
This is hard… I am going to give quite a boring answer, but I would merge a rabbit with a stoat. Hopefully it would turn out to be fluffy and non-aggressive…
II. If you could turn into any inanimate object, what would it be?
I feel like any answer to this question would sound perverted, so I’ll try to answer it as cleanly as possible. I would probably want to be a book. That way, at least I’d contain a (hopefully interesting) story!
III. Would you rather face a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion? Why?
I would pick the zombie invasion if the zombies involved were the slow kind from old movies… Aliens seem a little to unpredictable to me.
IV. You’re stuck on a desert island and you can either take one item or one person with you. What/who do you choose, and why?
I am not going to hurt anyone by forcing them to be stuck on a desert island with me, so I’d probably take my laptop (as long as I am allowed to attach a solar panel or something like that to it). That way, at least I’d have some contact with the world until the day I die of starvation. I’d not survive long, that’s for sure.
V. Tell us about your most embarrassing moment.
I had to get surgery for my toe, but since I was so afraid of going to the doctor’s, I was prescribed some kind of tranquiliser. I had to take one of those pills at home, but according to the doctor, it would be better if I took one and a half. Little did I know that this stuff would cause black-outs and make me behave like I was high… I have no memory of this, but my parents took me to the doctor’s clinic and I got the surgery. When we arrived back home, they showed me a taped of drugged me shouting at them, almost falling down the stairs and mumbling about fairies on a red planet. Apparently, I had been acting like that all the way through the surgery. Nice.
VI. Rich or famous?
I’d rather be famous than rich, as long as being famous also means that I make a decent amount of money.
VII. You can only eat one food for the rest of your life. What do you pick?
My first thought was some chicken from the KFC, but that would not be such a great idea… I’m going to pick bread (but I hope I can still use different kinds of filling).
VIII. Would you rather only speak in riddles, or only speak in rhymes?
I’d rather speak in riddles, since I already seem to be doing that.
IX. Your life becomes a movie. What genre is it and who plays you?
It would probably be some kind of dramatic comedy about a lonely college student who keeps bumping into everything all the time and still lives with their parents (although not for long anymore). I would play myself. I know that is the wrong answer, but I do not know anybody who could play the part.
X. Instead of skin, you are made of fabric. What kind? Flannel, silk, corduroy?
I know absolutely nothing about fabric. I’m still picking chiffon, since it looks soft and like it would make for a nice skin.
XI. What is the meaning of life?
We are all characters in a book, so we’ll just have to wait for the ending to see what it all was about! (No, I do not seriously believe this, thank you very much.)
Now, it’s time for the eleven random facts about me!
- Even as a writer, I do not like the university’s courses about literature.
II. I used to take a course in Latin at secondary school.
III. I am a Dutch person who knows nothing about football – which seems to be the nation’s pride.
IV. I love anime and cartoons – and I’m not afraid to use both words in the same sentence.
V. I have a strong hatred for anything plastic – especially spoons.
VI. I’ve been in at least ten different countries, not counting my own.
VII. My pseudonym, A.G.R. Rosewood, actually stands for two entirely different names.
VIII. The Dutch Crown Princess was born on my eighth birthday – so I hated that birthday.
IX. I love spicy foods, while I really cannot eat them without getting sick for days.
X. I actually do not like talking about myself that much.
XI. I once dropped a baby hamster. I am a horrible person. Don’t worry, though; it survived.
After answering these questions about myself, I realised I did not know a single blogger who did not have at least 200 followers. Still, I decided my nominees to be the following people: Crazy Inkslinger, Bookish Nerd, Unearth|me, Baburoy, Writesy, Innate Wanderings, Lorraine Loveit and Peppered Pot. Sadly, I do not have time to look up any more, so here are your eleven questions:
I. Do you have a phone case? If yes, what colour is it?
II. Look to your left. What is the object nearest to you (that is not part of a computer)?
III. What is your favourite kind of soda?
IV. Would you eat insects? If yes, what kind of insects seems the tastiest to you?
V. What colour is your favourite chair?
VI. Would you like to travel to North Korea?
VII. What does your ideal vacation look like during a zombie invasion?
VIII. What would you run across the airport for if it was about to be loaded on the plane?
IX. What is your favourite word?
X. Does it bother you that there is no eleventh question?
Lastly, I would like to say: keep wring!
Thank you for reading this and remember to stick to the rules!
- Recognize the blogger who nominated you
- Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked (see below, guys!)
- List 11 fun/random facts about yourself
- Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers who you think deserve to be recognized
- Inform the bloggers you’ve nominated them
- Give your nominees 11 questions to answer